Don’t let the critical voices win

When I was in sixth grade, I started drawing an ever-expanding Halloween-themed picture. In a few weeks it went beyond a simple drawing into becoming a whole world. A story in images. Bewitched, I drew more sprawling worlds.

In seventh grade, I found poetry. Words fell into and out of me creating images from language. I called them wordscapes. Wordscapes became the way my heart sang her truths.

Art and poetry helped me make sense of life. I dreamed of being an artist and a writer. People around me dreamed of me being practical, rational, and employable. Creativity was fine as an amusement. Dreams were for children. Adulthood was for responsibility.

So, I dutifully tucked away my art and writing and walked through the next 30 years feeling incomplete….as if there must be something…more. Always a little raw and tired from suppressing the artist and writer dreams insistently bumping against the back of my mind. 

About ten years ago, I finally acted on my dream of being a writer. I started small, scribbling poems in crayon while coloring with my children. After a bit, I moved into blogging (ack!) where anyone and their great aunt could read what I wrote. I didn’t let my perfectionist take over…often.

These days when I question if I’m really a writer, I remind myself that I’ve written over 700 newsletters, more than 550 posts for my own blog, over 100 articles and posts for other virtual publications, and countless poems (some of which have been published!)

My writing is imperfect, yes. Yet, it is perfectly me.

That, to my mind, is one of the keys to liberating a dream. Be true to yourself and willing to be imperfect.

If you’re a little raw and tired from unspoken dreams bumping against the back of your mind. If you’ve told yourself:

  • “I’d do it if I had more time.”
  • “I’d do it, but I don’t think I can make a real difference.”
  • “I’m too old to start something new.”

Consider picking up a pen, or a keyboard, and having a conversation with those assumptions.

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